Raising Spelt, Rye, Olands Wheat & Purple Wheat - Our Growing Journey
Provenance is a key consideration for us at Kells, that’s why in 2016 we began a collaboration with local farmers in the region to grow spelt and rye. We have directly contracted growers to plant 10 acres of rye and 14 acres of spelt, giving potential yields of 40 tonnes and 30 tonnes respectively.
While Irish farmers are experienced in growing oats, barley and wheat, the tradition and expertise in growing spelt and rye is less so. This initiative by Kells is an opportunity to gain greater insights and learnings into the pros and cons of growing these crops in Ireland.
While we are not the first to do this, we are expecting to learn as much as we can from the process, gauging the quality of the grains produced to the labour and processes involved in getting it to market. If all goes to plan we hope to supply our customers with Irish spelt in 2017, but even if it doesn’t go to plan, we hope this journey will prepare us for delivering successful crops in the future.
May 2017 Update
Planted in September 2017, Bill Mosse took a visit to check on our Rye crop to see how it is progressing. Tom Butler, our partner farmer on this project was delighted with the progress of the crop and so far there has been no major set backs. The harvest is due in July 2017.
June 2017 Update
The Rye crop is on schedule for it’s July harvest and to date no real issues have come up.
The Olands Wheat isn’t performing as well but we will see how this progresses in the coming weeks and will update you with more details.
The purple wheat looks really healthy and on schedule for harvest. We will be speaking with Tom Butler our growing partner in July to get some details about his experience growing these crops.